Juventus
    Juventus
      18.04.2015 23:01 - in: Serie A S

      Juve move 15 points clear at the top

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      First-half efforts from Carlos Tevez and Leonardo Bonucci extend the Bianconeri’s advantage at the top of the pile with tonight’s 2-0 win over nearest challengers Lazio

      The Bianconeri raced 15 points clear at the top of the league with a solid 2-0 success over nearest chasers Lazio on an entertaining evening of Serie A football at Juventus Stadium.

      Tevez set the wheels in motion on 17 minutes with his 18th Serie A strike of the season, latching on to Arturo Vidal’s flick-on before sending a composed finish past the onrushing Federico Marchetti.

      This lead was doubled nine minutes later when Bonucci coasted through from the halfway line and ended his fine solo run with a crisp finish into the back of the net.

      Lazio threatened to creep back into the encounter after the break but Gigi Buffon saves from Antonio Candreva and Lucas Biglia enabled the hosts to preserve a morale-boosting clean sheet ahead of next Wednesday’s decisive Champions League second leg against Monaco in Monte Carlo.

      It was a solid start to the encounter from Juventus, who looked comfortable in possession whilst patiently sizing up a Lazio side approaching the game on the back of eight straight Serie A successes.

      Genuine goalscoring chances were thin on the ground during a tightly-contested introduction, with Claudio Marchisio the first to work Marchetti via a low strike that was saved by the goalkeeper at his near post on 13 minutes.

      But the Bianconeri would not have to wait too much longer to make their growing dominance count as Tevez, set free by Vidal’s flick-on, raced clear to dispatch a perfect left-footed finish into the bottom corner with 17 minutes on the clock.

      The goal forced Lazio to come out of their shell but aside from a deflected Miroslav Klose effort that rose over the bar on 25 minutes, the hosts looked good value for their lead and set about extending it further.

      An unlikely source provided the second goal of the game, but there was no doubting the quality of the run and finish by Bonucci. There seemed to be little danger on when the defender gathered the ball on the halfway line and pressed into Lazio territory but his perseverance, coupled with Tevez’s clever decoy run, soon found him one-on-one with Marchetti and in the perfect position to make it 2-0 to the hosts.

      Now in cruise control, Juventus continued to boss the play and could have made it three ahead of the break, only for Patrice Evra’s spectacular header from inside the box to fall just wide of the mark.

      With Candreva on for the restart, Lazio began to up the ante in the second half and had hearts in mouths on 65 minutes when the former Bianconeri midfielder’s rasping free-kick deflected off the wall and rattled the woodwork via Buffon’s fingertips.

      The goalkeeper was again called into action two minutes later, taking the sting out of Biglia’s well-struck shot that would ultimately prove to be one of the visitors’ last attempts on goal.  

      Second-half reinforcements Alvaro Morata, Roberto Pereyra and Stefano Sturaro added extra vigour and industry to the cause, while the back three, marshalled to perfection by Bonucci, ensured Klose’s evening was a fruitless one.

      Lazio’s night took a turn for the worse when Danilo Cataldi was given his marching orders for a cynical lunge on Tevez, while a late consolation for Felipe Anderson was denied by the legs of Buffon.

      With the league title edging ever closer into view, Juventus will resume their charge for European glory when they travel to the south of France to face Monaco on Wednesday night.

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